tek's rating:

The Ultimate Christmas Present, on Disney Channel
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I mainly just watched this because I liked some of the stars, though it first came out in 2000, and I didn't see it til 2008, so the main characters were a lot younger than I'm used to seeing them. They are a girl named Allie Thompson (played by Hallee Hirsh, whom I know from Flight 29 Down), and her friend Samantha Kwan (Brenda Song). Allie's mom is played by Hallie Todd. Allie also has an annoying little brother played by Spencer Breslin, who I suppose I've seen in some other Disney Channel stuff. Also there was a weatherman named Edwin Hadley, played by Peter Scolari. Some other characters were played by vaguely familiar actors, I suppose.

Anyway, here's the premise: Allie has put off writing a paper for school, and it's due the next day. And she wants to get out of writing it. Then she and Sam find a machine that controls the weather, and use it to make it snow. Which is completely unexpected, because they live in Los Angeles. So they get a snow day, and don't have to go to school. On the down side, Allie's father is on a business trip in San Francisco, and because of the snow, flights get cancelled, so he won't be able to make it home for Christmas.

Meanwhile, it turns out the weather machine belonged to Santa Claus. He was doing some stuff in a cabin in the woods where the girls found it... he just had to get away from the North Pole for awhile, because there were too many distractions there. Anyway, he had thrown the machine out in frustration, since it wasn't working properly (which explains why things didn't get any better when Allie tried to shut it off), but now he needed to get it back. A couple of bumbling elves came to help find it. (They were constantly trying to modernize Christmas in various ways, and also complaining about people's misconceptions about elves, mostly the fact that they were tall and everyone thought elves were supposed to be small.)

Also, TV weatherman Edwin Hadley was having a hard time. For one thing, he was really boring, so his boss wanted to fire him. And he was shocked by the impossible snowstorm, which at first led him to say it wasn't happening. So now his job was really on the line, and he was desperate to find out where the storm originated and what caused it. Eventually he would find the machine, and try to steal it, rather predictably, so that he could control the weather and thereby become the best weatherman ever.

Um... I guess there were some other minor things going on, like Allie's mom and her assistant running a catering business, and the family never being able to spend enough time together. Which leads, in the end, to the revelation of the true meaning of the movie's title, which is kind of predictable, but I won't spoil it. Suffice to say... it wasn't what Santa meant to be the ultimate Christmas present, originally. Anyway, in the end everything works out for everyone. It wasn't the greatest movie by any means, but it was okay to watch once. And I can't think what else to say....

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